Steve Koonin was named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club on April 13, 2014. Koonin oversees all business, financial and strategic
operations of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena.
In 2014-15, the first full season under Koonin’s leadership, the Hawks led the NBA in year-over-year attendance increase and set single-season franchise records for
retail sales, sellouts and season ticket memberships, including a record 500% uptick in annual season ticket sales. Under Koonin’s direction, the organization has experienced a substantial increase
in engagement with digital and millennial audiences, leading to across-the-board surges in popularity on all team-operated social media channels and a 250+% rise in television viewership among people
18-34 years of age.
In December 2014, Koonin helped establish a new standard for diversity in the NBA, appointing the first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in professional
sports and overseeing the creation of the NBA’s first diversity council. During his tenure with the Hawks, Koonin has been named one of The 100 Most Influential Atlantans of 2015 by Atlanta
Business Chronicle, as well as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Most Powerful People Shaping Atlanta.
Koonin, a longtime entertainment and marketing veteran, joined the Hawks after spending the previous 14 years with Turner Entertainment Networks, most recently serving as the division’s president. As president, he oversaw programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for top-rated networks TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, as well as Peachtree TV. Under his leadership, the networks won numerous Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards, as well as established ratings records and critical acclaim. He was also instrumental in the programming and media rights acquisition processes around the NBA and NCAA, and helped build strong brand franchises in “Inside the NBA” and “NBA on TNT.” During his Turner career, he was selected for TV Guide’s “The Power List” and named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “Smartest People in Television.”
Prior to his stint at Turner, Koonin was at the helm of presence marketing and worldwide advertising at The Coca-Cola Company, where he spent over a decade. While
serving as Coca-Cola’s vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, he was named Sports Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal.
A lifelong resident of Atlanta, Koonin serves on the boards of Emory Healthcare, the Georgia Aquarium, the Fox Theatre, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and is a trustee of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. He is also on the board of GameStop, the world’s largest video game and entertainment software
He studied marketing at the University of Georgia, where he and his wife, Eydie, have established the Koonin Scholars Fund at the Grady College of Journalism and
Mass Communication. The fund provides scholarships for Grady students preparing for careers in the creative industries and media.
Acclaimed global futurist, speaker, and best-selling author Jack Uldrich is frequently asked, “What will the future look like?” His response is, “Predictably unpredictable.” So how can you prepare for the unpredictable? The answer will surprise you. The key is embracing paradox: learning to unlearn, thinking about the unthinkable, recognizing failure as a key component of success, and understanding that an awareness of one’s ignorance is a key component of true wisdom.
Uldrich paints vivid pictures of what the world may look like in just a few short years. He provides an in-depth exploration of how the “internet of things,” big data, social media, robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and “collaborative consumption” will change everyday life for all of us in the very near future. He follows through with upbeat, practical, and actionable insights on future trends, emerging technologies, innovation, change management, and transformational leadership. He is an advisor to Fortune 1000 companies and has spoken to hundreds of businesses and organizations on five continents, including General Electric, General Mills, the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Pfizer, Invitrogen, St. Jude Medical, AG Schering, Imation, Fairview Hospitals, Touchstone Energy, and more.
Widely-Respected Expertise and Best-Selling Books. Uldrich is the best-selling, award-winning author of 11 books, including his latest, Foresight 2020: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow, and the upcoming book, The Big AHA: How to Future-Proof Yourself Against Tomorrow's Twelve Transformational Trends, Today. His other well-known titles include The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business, Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark’s Daring Westward Expedition, and Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of Emerging Technologies. He is also the author of Green Investing: A Guide to Making Money through Environment-Friendly Stocks, Higher Unlearning: 39 Post-Requisite Lessons for Achieving a Successful Future, Unlearning 101: 101 Lessons in Thinking Inside-Out the Box, among others.
Uldrich is a frequent guest on major media outlets, including CNN, CNBC, and NPR, and he is an ongoing contributor on emerging technologies and future trends for publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, WIRED, and BusinessWeek. His work has appeared in the Futurist, Future Quarterly Research, the Wall Street Reporter, Leader to Leader, Management Quarterly, and hundreds of other newspapers and publications around the country. He also regularly makes television appearances on the Science Channel’s FutureScape and the Discovery Channel show Inside Out.
Unlearn Your Assumptions. Uldrich is the founder and “Chief Unlearning Officer” of The School of Unlearning—an international consultancy designed to assist organizations succeed tomorrow by unlearning today. He is known for his willingness to work with clients well in advance of his presentations in order to deliver highly tailored presentations that are guaranteed to help his clients not only profit today, but continue to prosper long into the future.
Uldrich is a former naval intelligence officer and Defense Department official. He previously served as the director of the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning.
Andrew Isaacson moved to Los Angeles in 2001 with 6 months of rent and a dream of working in the film and entertainment business. After landing a job as an editor, he cut together his first “pump-up” music video for the Los Angeles Clippers and was in the stands the night it debuted. When 18,000 fans watched and cheered, he knew there was nothing else he’d rather do.
Isaacson has since produced content for countless live events including 10 Super Bowls, 6 NHL All-Star Games, the Kentucky Derby, X-Games, Ryder Cup, the NCAA Men’s Final Four, Lollapalooza, and 300+ graphics packages for 80+ professional sports teams. Major brand work also includes Gatorade, Toyota, Nike, Lexus, Google, and Ebay.
In 2011, he worked with the NFL to develop a turnkey software solution to publish fantasy football statistics in all 32 stadiums. “Stats-In-A-Box” then led to the development of “Vixi,” the first fully 3D social media broadcast aggregator of its kind used to display Twitter and Instagram photos on video boards in real-time.
His most recent projects include producing halftime shows for the Atlanta Hawks and the Georgia Lottery, as well as the Minnesota Vikings’ inaugural game at US Bank Stadium.
He currently serves as Executive Producer and oversees all talent and business development for The Famous Group, an integrated production company with offices in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York.
Tim Zulawski enters his 13th season with the Atlanta Falcons.
As Vice President of Sponsorship Sales and Service, Zulawski leads the Falcons initiative to develop and maintain corporate partnerships with local, regional and national corporations. This includes overseeing day to day activities associated with promotional rights, television, radio, print and digital advertising, custom experiences, hospitality and the sale of annual signage rights at the Georgia Dome.
During his time in Atlanta, Zulawski has helped the team secure a number of valuable corporate partnerships with numerous companies including a new television broadcast partner in Atlanta’s CW in 2014 and a new radio broadcast partner in CBS Radio’s 92.9 the Game in 2015.
Prior to coming to the Falcons, Zulawski worked for Palace Sports and Entertainment in charge of
negotiating sponsorships for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm and the St. Pete Times Forum. His NFL career started in public relations with the Buffalo Bills as a high school
A native of Buffalo, New York, Zulawski holds a Management Information Systems degree from SUNY in Fredonia and a Master’s degree in Sports Management from Springfield College. He and his wife Erika are active members in the Atlanta community through numerous immigration related organizations and the Big Brothers & Big Sisters program of Metro Atlanta.
Anna Sainsbury has nearly a decade of experience in International regulation and compliance across the land-based and online gaming industries. Throughout the course of her career, Anna has
worked with regulators, operators and Government vendors throughout North America, Australia, Asia and Europe. Prior to launching GeoComply, Anna has worked within the interactive gaming sector for
over seven years. Prior to forming GeoComply, her primary focus had been developing, implementing and testing gaming standards across all regulated and emerging jurisdictions to ensure industry
integrity and jurisdictional integrity.
Her experience includes Commercial Director at Technical Systems Testing (now part of the GLI Group), which offer compliance testing services to regulated gaming and lotteries around the
Anna’s first-hand industry experience, and vision to identify a void in the market, led to the creation of GeoComply and has established Anna as one of the leading geolocation experts in the industry. Under Anna’s expert leadership, GeoComply now provides their advanced solution to over ninety percent of the geolocation compliance transitions in the growing US online gaming market by harnessing the latest technologies to ensure compliance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and other applicable laws and state regulations.
In his role as an SVP at Cookerly Public Relations (cookerly.com), Stephen M. Brown, APR, develops creative new approaches to reach and impact media and influencers and stand out in the crowded multimedia marketplace.
Brown’s 20-year career spans consumer, corporate, technology, healthcare and government accounts, with a through-line of adding creativity to campaigns and national or global visibility to the companies and organizations he serves. Brown has been featured in PR Week, Wall Street Journal and Marketing News, was named one of “15 to watch” by PR News and “Top 40 Under 40” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and has led teams to more than 12 national awards, including the 2015 PRSA Bronze Anvil for the “True Cost of Fraud” campaign. He has recently landed client stories on CNN, FOX and NBC and in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mashable and The Associated Press.
In his work at global PR firms, he has helped LexisNexis to elevate big data to fight business and healthcare fraud, Philips Electronics to promote a child-friendly X-ray technology into hospitals, Coca-Cola to launch the Freestyle device, InterfaceFLOR to showcase a global sustainability study, Lowe’s to envision integrated seasonal DIY campaigns, McDonald’s to introduce its line of espresso-based coffee products and UPS to kick off its synchronized commerce platform.
Drawing from a features reporting career for Gannett Newspapers on the East Coast, entertainment media on the West Coast and even his current blog SilverScreenCapture.com, he focuses his PR work on breakthrough content development, building influencer relationships in both traditional and digital spheres and hosting ideation sessions for campaigns that help organizations advance their mission.
Brown also leads Cookerly’s executive media training programs that help companies bring corporate messaging to life through brand ambassadors. He has trained more than 1,500 executives in ten years, ranging from CEOs for national print and broadcast to a company’s chief scientist for a Today Show interview to a home improvement retailer’s specially-selected associates for TV appearances nationwide.
Brown is active in the Atlanta community in the Leadership Atlanta class of 2007, as past president of PRSA Georgia, chairman of the Board of Directors for Actor’s Express theatre, advisory board member for The Alliance at Woodruff Arts Center and past president of housing/healthcare nonprofit Jerusalem House. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College and the College of Journalism, where the student support center bears his name.
Andrew McMillin is SVP/GM, Coca-Cola Trademark for Coca-Cola North America, a position he has held since November 2012. In this
capacity, he is responsible for growing revenue, transactions and brand love for The Coca-Cola Company’s flagship brands.
Since joining Coke in 2001, Mr. McMillin has held a variety of consumer marketing, commercial and franchise leadership roles
including leadership of brand Coca-Cola in North America, leadership of Coca-Cola’s Walmart / Sam’s marketing team, oversight of retail shopper marketing function, launch and oversight of My Coke
Rewards, and multiple operational and franchise leadership roles in the company’s Midwest operations.
Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Mr. McMillin spent six years with the Ford Motor Company as part of their Marketing Leadership Program. He holds a BA from Boston College and an MBA from Duke University. He and his wife, Tricia, have two children and live in Atlanta.
Kathryn Cleary leads a team responsible for growing emerging verticals within the US Market Development team of MasterCard. This strategic role works directly with merchants, acquirers and third party processors to gain card acceptance and to increase MasterCard market share within the key verticals.
Prior to joining MasterCard, Cleary was with First Data Corporation for ten years in various leadership roles. Most recently, Cleary was the Vice President of Sales in First Data’s largest sales channel. In that capacity, she led an organization of over 400 professionals across the US responsible for selling products and solutions to small and mid-size business (SMB) clients including merchant acquiring. She was responsible for working with over 25 large strategic partners such as Citi, Huntington Bank and Santander.
Cleary received her MBA from Hofstra University and earned a Bachelor of Science from LeMoyne College. She resides in New York with her husband and three children.
Manolo leads TPN’s retail technology + innovation practice, providing strategic direction and thought leadership in creating best-in-class connected experiences for the agency’s global brands and retailer clients. Since joining TPN in 2011, Manolo has helped grow the agency’s digital and retail technology efforts into a holistic connected-experience offering. In addition to mobile, digital retail and e-commerce solutions, Manny’s team operates TPN’s innovation labs, providing clients with access to emerging technology, and test and learn opportunities with curated groups of retail tech start-ups. Over the past years, Manolo has brought his retail technology expertise as a Retail Practice Expert for Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Session Speaker at SxSW 2016 and NRF 2016, Keynotes at Retail Evolution Conference in San Francisco, Shopper Marketing Summit in Chicago, the International Retail Design Conference in Miami.
Cathy’s leadership and consumer packaged goods experience are felt by all TPN Clients, including Bank of America, 7-Eleven, The Hershey Company and Sam’s Club. As an industry veteran and TPN “coach,” she leads with an open-door policy, ready to mentor and assist in all challenges. Cathy draws from more than 20 years of marketing and leadership experience to bring people and resources together, offering our clients unique staffing models, partnership, convergence opportunities as well as innovative and customized solutions.
Myron Williams is president of Corporate Sales Strategy and Sales Operations for UPS (United Parcel Services). From their corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Williams’ responsibilities includes: sales analytics, training, communications, compensation, recognition programs and customer relations technology. His career with UPS has spanned 32 years, working in a variety of assignments in sales and marketing. During the 2016 NASPL Business Development and Product Innovations Conference, Williams will discuss how UPS delivers outstanding customer service, even against the odds. He also will talk about disaster recovery, business continuity and how UPS’ future technology may affect the lottery industry.